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Friday, May 19, 2017

Be Fruitful and Multiply

"Be fruitful and multiply." This was God's instruction when He created mankind (Genesis 1:27-28). God's plan was for mankind to increase in number, so that the earth would be populated by the part of creation that bore His image. But due to man's disobedience to God, sin entered the world and mankind became corrupted. God saw that the heart of man was inclined toward evil, and it grieved Him so much that He decided to wipe mankind from the face of the earth by sending a great flood. But, in His great mercy, God singled out one righteous man named Noah and saved him and his family from this destruction (Genesis 6:5-8).

God instructed Noah to build an ark, on which Noah, his sons and their wives would be protected from the flood, along with two of every kind of animal on earth. The rains came and flooded the earth, destroying the rest of mankind. When the rain ended and the floodwaters receded, God gave Noah and his family the same instruction He had given to Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful and multiply." (Genesis 9:1) Once again, God's plan was for mankind to populate the earth. God also gave Noah a promise that He would never again send a flood to wipe mankind from the face of the earth (Genesis 9:11). Sadly, it was not long before sin once again took hold of man, but God had a different plan for dealing with man's sin this time. He would one day send His only Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for the sin of mankind.

Fast forward through the centuries to the New Testament. God sent His Son, Jesus, who took all of our sin upon Him as He died on the cross, enabling us to be freed from sin's chains and the punishment that we deserved. Jesus died and then rose again, conquering sin and death. Before He ascended into heaven to take His rightful place at the right hand of God the Father, Jesus gave His disciples instructions to go into the world and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:19). Jesus was basically instructing them to be fruitful and multiply. Following the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they did just that. The number of people who believed and became disciples of Jesus grew by three thousand on that day alone!

Jesus desires for all of us to be fruitful and multiply. When we accept Jesus in our lives, believing that He died for us and making Him Lord of our lives, we receive the gift of salvation. Then, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we who are now in Christ are able to bear fruit. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. When we abide in Him, our lives become fruitful as we grow to be more like Him (John 15:5). When we become fruitful in Jesus, our lives will reflect Him and, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to multiply, to bring others into the family of believers.

Be fruitful and multiply!

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